There’s nothing worse than dragging yourself out of bed (after hitting snooze 3 or 4 times) to face a long and tiring day when all you really feel like doing is putting the pillow over your head and maybe surfacing around midday for a nice cafe brunch. But let’s face it. There’s only so many mental health days you can realistically get away with, and honestly – would you really feel so great about life or yourself anyway if you actually did follow your morning instincts?
A far better choice is to take action to boost your morning energy. I guarantee this will also improve your mood and ultimately your motivation to (enthusiastically!) get through the day ahead. Here’s a few ideas that have worked wonders for me. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I actually am a morning person now, and I really never thought that would happen!
1. Try a salt water re-boot
This tip will re-boot your adrenal (stress) glands, and give you a hearty dose of vital minerals. At night, simply stir a decent pinch of real (pink, grey or black organic) sea salt into a tall glass of water. Drink it first thing on arising. If you’re quite toxic you may experience a detox reaction, so stay close to a toilet for at least 10 minutes! This won’t happen on an ongoing basis, and may not happen at all. More likely you’ll just notice that morning fog clear and a welcome energy boost.
2. Get things moving with a dose of fiber and lemon
Freshly squeezed lemon in warm water is an old trick for improved morning digestion. Actually there’s not really any science behind the idea, but it works for nearly everyone and that’s good enough for me! You can add lemon to your salt water, or use a second glass – two glasses of water first thing is preferable anyway. If you really want to get things moving and enhance toxin removal, add 2 rounded teaspoons of a quality fiber. I’d do this in just half a glass water and then follow with another big glass.
3. Avoid eating 2 hours before bed
Food in your belly right before bed will reduce your quality of sleep and leave you feeling grump – possibly even hungover – come morning. If your body is focused on digestion you won’t be able to produce growth hormone (GH) whilst asleep, and considering GH is vital to a healthy metabolism I’d say it’s best to go to bed a little hungry.
4. Keep the room completely dark
Your sleeping environment is absolutely paramount to the quality of sleep you enjoy and therefore to your overall energy and health. I read a study in which simply shining a small red light behind the knee of a person caused melatonin production to drop and cortisol production to increase. Not good. Use an eye mask if necessary.
5. Maintain a comfortable temperature during sleep
It’s also important that you don’t become too warm whilst asleep. A cosy electric blanket or night-time heater is appealing when getting into a cold bed but you know how yucky you feel waking in a too-warm room – your head pounds and you feel as though your whole body has been left out to dry. Set the heater on a timer, and avoid the electric blanket altogether unless you like the idea of constant radiation whilst sleeping. If it’s summertime, use a slow fan. The noise might even help you sleep!
6. Move that ass – preferably outdoors
No excuses – as soon as you get out of bed chuck your shoes on (leave PJs on if necessary!) and take a quick 5-10 minute walk around the block. An alternative is to do 5-10 minutes of bodyweight squats, lunges, push ups in your garden or on your balcony. Unless you’re unfortunate enough to live right next to a sewerage plant, morning air – no matter how cold – will definitely clear your head and the accompanying exercise will leave you feeling exhilarated for hours.
7. Take 10 minutes to consider the day ahead
This is my favourite morning habit, and one I really wish I made time for more often. I like to combine a cup of quality java (which, as we recently learned, is lowering my heart disease risk!) with 10 minutes of journalling or just staring into space and thinking. I think it was Ghandi who said “I have so much to do today that I don’t have time not to spend an hour on my knees”. Another quote I love is “the unexamined life is not worth living” (who said that?). You get the idea. Take some time to consider what’s important to you today; what would you have to do to feel great about the day and I guarantee you’ll feel great for it.
How ’bout you? What works for you in the early hours?